Torch Recommendations

LongRoad2Go

Active Member
Yep, I support headlamps too - hands free and many have multiple functions.

There are lots of brands and cheap Chinese knockoffs, but it pays to get quality i.e. Petzl, Black Diamond, etc - these are used extensively in the most extreme locations (caving, mountaineering, arctic, etc) so are robust and not prone to break, some come with spare LED globes too.

Failing that, if you can get you hands on old mining headlamps (coal/hard rock) then they're also good. (I have both and use in tandem as back-ups)

Most run multiple power sources: normal batteries, rechargeable batteries, and/or a USB connection. Always pays to carry spare globes too. The norm is to have THREE separate light sources available at any given time - Murphy's Law. :)

(A headlamp can be used around camp, and equally as a trouble-shooting tool under the vehicle ... whatever; when both hands are needed.)

RE: 'and for the less likely purpose as a self defence tool.'

Self defence tool?! Are you planning to emigrate to the USA or somewhere in a conflict zone?o_O Forget the internet hype and just think luminosity! I suppose the elastic headband could function as a slingshot? 'Drop Bears' beware! :D
 

MrMiller

Member
I’ve had a black diamond head torch for a couple years now and highly rate it… one of the lenses cracked from god knows what. Good old Snowy’s came through with a quick and easy warranty for that.

As far as the self defence thing goes… it’s more of a “if it can serve that purpose then why not?” Better to have and not need, than to need and not have. Regardless of how likely or less likely the circumstance may be. Being from Canada and spending a lot of time in the states growing up. I’d just rather be prepared for any and every situation.
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member
Ive had quite a few headtorches over the year, some cheap & some way over priced for what you get.

I got a couple of these a couple of years ago when they were on special at BNGS for $27, they work so well think I should have bought 4 & just put a couple in the cupboard for Ron :)

Still I think how well these are doing it will be some time to replace them, then there will be a new thing coming out soon which is better & cheaper again.

https://www.bunnings.com.au/energizer-450-lumen-vision-ultra-headlight-torch_p0104007

They only have a IPX4 rating but I can deal with that for the price as I have another headtorch that is IP67 rating for when its poring rain.
 

Swaggie

Moderator
You do find some good stuff Swaggie.

I have a few questions.

1)Does it have a red light mode?
2)Can you dim it manually?
3)Does the auto mode get annoying? ( I had one with auto on / off that kept turning off when I was working on close up things)

Cheers mate
No red mode.
You manually change the modes by using the button on the top, hold down and it cycles through, one press is candle mode and then through another 3 modes, Two quick presses you get full power but cycles down after two minutes, very bright for a small unit. Seems to keep its charge for awhile.
Three presses and it’s SOS.

Not sure about auto mode, if you put your thumb over the lenses it will shut off.

I like the magnetic holder in the headband... It also uses a rubber strap to hold in firmly...
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
Ive had quite a few headtorches over the year, some cheap & some way over priced for what you get.

I got a couple of these a couple of years ago when they were on special at BNGS for $27, they work so well think I should have bought 4 & just put a couple in the cupboard for Ron :)

Still I think how well these are doing it will be some time to replace them, then there will be a new thing coming out soon which is better & cheaper again.

https://www.bunnings.com.au/energizer-450-lumen-vision-ultra-headlight-torch_p0104007

They only have a IPX4 rating but I can deal with that for the price as I have another headtorch that is IP67 rating for when its poring rain.
I had an energiser hard case head torch for 10 odd years until the head band died. By far the best value head torch I’ve owned.
 

Swaggie

Moderator
Ive had quite a few headtorches over the year, some cheap & some way over priced for what you get.

I got a couple of these a couple of years ago when they were on special at BNGS for $27, they work so well think I should have bought 4 & just put a couple in the cupboard for Ron :)

Still I think how well these are doing it will be some time to replace them, then there will be a new thing coming out soon which is better & cheaper again.

https://www.bunnings.com.au/energizer-450-lumen-vision-ultra-headlight-torch_p0104007

They only have a IPX4 rating but I can deal with that for the price as I have another headtorch that is IP67 rating for when its poring rain.
Yep been looking at these for awhile myself just to try out, Safeway sell them also...
 

Chatty

Well-Known Member
I worked on the railway for several years and worked shift work around the tracks so it was essential to have a decent torch or end up face first in a ditch. I was sick and tired of all the standard issue stuff like Eveready Dolphins and Maglites which would always either go flat or blow a globe when you really needed them.
Oh stop it! You're bringing back so many happy memories - like getting ready for a weekend possession by getting 3 boxes of 6 volt lantern batteries out of stores...
Or the obligatory Shunter's lantern with clear, green and red lenses - that cast enough light to be seen, oh, about three feet away.
 

peterfermtech

Well-Known Member
I would love to know the history of how that red glass lens was chosen as the colour standard. Surely it was a stuff up.
 

MrMiller

Member

Alright.
So after a ton of research and searching… I’ve settled on the Olight Warrior X Pro… good specs, good reviews, built like a tank, decent run time, and 5 a year warranty.
At that price point I’m expecting good quality and minimal issues.
Anybody know of anything of equal quality and spec for a better price? Or better value for money? It is quite a bit of coin for a flashlight at the end of the day… but it will be used and I don’t want to have to buy another for quite a few years.
 
I only have experience with LED Lenser and it has been overwhelmingly positive. I bought one of their small pocket torches maybe 10 years ago from a camping store here in Sydney. It's seen plenty of action and abuse. It gets chucked around, dropped in mud and rocks, stepped on... usual stuff while out camping, hiking or hunting. It has plenty of punch in the light department and fits nicely in my pocket or a small zip up compartment in a backpack.

After 10 years of abuse the screw on cap at it's base started cracking, probably my own ham-fisted fault from over tightening. I called the distributor with the faint hope of replacing the part. He didn't even ask for a receipt which I had long since lost, but merely the individual code on the torch and my mailing address. The replacement part arrived within days absolutely free of any charge, even postage!

I can't argue with that sort of after sales support. From all reports the Olight is an excellent torch too, just thought I'd add my experience with LED Lenser.
 

peterfermtech

Well-Known Member
The thing I would have to ask is do you really need that bright a torch. 2000lm is great for hunting or for your car high beam but.........
I find around 3-400 lm with a moderately wide diffuse beam is the ideal torch for general purpose and that output definitely doesn't need a 21700 battery. Even then I find I often go down to a lower brightness setting and an 18650 battery will last all night.
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member

Alright.
So after a ton of research and searching… I’ve settled on the Olight Warrior X Pro… good specs, good reviews, built like a tank, decent run time, and 5 a year warranty.
At that price point I’m expecting good quality and minimal issues.
Anybody know of anything of equal quality and spec for a better price? Or better value for money? It is quite a bit of coin for a flashlight at the end of the day… but it will be used and I don’t want to have to buy another for quite a few years.
That's a pretty powerful torch for its size!!

The only thing is with that battery size(never heard of 21700 before actually) is it sounds like that torch will only work with the customized Olight battery.
I have a few torches & other electronics that run on 18650's so I would be reluctant to pick that torch purely on that

But 5000mAh, thats huge!

Still the battery you get with it should last you a long time, I am still using my Wolf Eyes 18650 batteries from about 15 years ago & the still work fine.

Good luck with it :)
 

MrMiller

Member

Well…


I went ahead and pulled the trigger and ordered the Olight. I ended up ordering a limited colour run instead of the standard black with blue bezel. Also googled coupon codes on a whim and low and behold… it worked! So a win there and only $167 for a beast of a torch. I feel that’s pretty good value for money.
@peterfermtech I definitely hear what your saying. 2000lm is overkill without question. But as I’ve said before I’m a firm believer in to have and not need than to need and not have. I can’t imagine I’d be firing it up at 2000lm too often. But it’s there if I want/need it.
The colour is pretty slick looking as well. Not that it matters much. It’s definitely a personal preference but hey it’s what I like.
@Triton14 I know what you mean about the battery. I had definitely factored battery size and type when starting the research. But this one comes as a complete package and I’m confident I’ll get years of use out of it.

Thanks to all who replied. A lot of great knowledge and experience shared on this one. Yet another reason why I’m a member of this forum.
Cheers guys
 

Rusty Panels

Well-Known Member
The thing I would have to ask is do you really need that bright a torch. 2000lm is great for hunting or for your car high beam but.........
I find around 3-400 lm with a moderately wide diffuse beam is the ideal torch for general purpose and that output definitely doesn't need a 21700 battery. Even then I find I often go down to a lower brightness setting and an 18650 battery will last all night.
You are right about the 2000 lumen not being necessary but, there are times when it's handy. I can light up the way for the wife and kids when we are down the backyard at the fire pit and one of them wants to walk back to the house to go to bed or whatever. It's great if you want to get a larger picture of your surroundings for any reason. I also used the higher setting on my Nitecore during the 2019/2020 bushfires to light the way ahead for the guys on the end of the hose when we were out at night. It gave everyone a good idea of where they needed to walk to remain safe and not end up breaking their necks. So, there are certainly times when it is more than just handy it can be a necessity.

As for the 21700 batteries it would appear that they are readily available as there are other torch manufacturers who use them including Olight, Fenix and Nitecore. They also make up the battery packs of many cordless power tools. They range between 3,000 and 5,000 mAh and there are several makers of them including Samsung, Panasonic and Sony.
 

MrMiller

Member
You are right about the 2000 lumen not being necessary but, there are times when it's handy. I can light up the way for the wife and kids when we are down the backyard at the fire pit and one of them wants to walk back to the house to go to bed or whatever. It's great if you want to get a larger picture of your surroundings for any reason. I also used the higher setting on my Nitecore during the 2019/2020 bushfires to light the way ahead for the guys on the end of the hose when we were out at night. It gave everyone a good idea of where they needed to walk to remain safe and not end up breaking their necks. So, there are certainly times when it is more than just handy it can be a necessity.

As for the 21700 batteries it would appear that they are readily available as there are other torch manufacturers who use them including Olight, Fenix and Nitecore. They also make up the battery packs of many cordless power tools. They range between 3,000 and 5,000 mAh and there are several makers of them including Samsung, Panasonic and Sony.
I’d have to agree with you in terms of the lumens. Hence why I went with this particular torch. Would definitely be handy in situations like that.
As for the batteries… yeah the 21700’s are used and produced by many other companies. Olight have introduced a “customised” 21700 so a normal one won’t work in their torches. I’m not sure if it’s across the board, but the ones I’ve looked at are like that. From Olight anyway. I’m not too worried about it as a good battery should last quite a few years with how many times it will be discharged.
 

Swaggie

Moderator
This new torch by Olight looks interesting
White light and a switch for RGB...

 

Bru9

Active Member
Maglites never went south because they were crap from the start, the old 6D incan was 120ish bulb lumens... the things reliable as a 40series landcruiser mind you. Put a dolphin torch German Phillip's super bulb in them for 240ish lumens. Put a 500 or 700lumen pelican bulb with glass lens, alloy reflector, and high cap d size ni-mh and you got the mother torch. Old school warm white.

Mentioning lumens by itself is rather meaningless, you have to take into account beam pattern, coverage, activity, etc.
Sorry to say the lumen numbers on virtually all led products are BOGUS!!!!!!!!!!!! The fl1 standards are rubbish :(
On the side of my klarus xt32 box it says 1200lumens, and for 3hrs (irrc) runtime.
So naturally anyone would think 1200 lumens for 3hours right? Nothing could be further from the truth.
In reality all LEDs cant run at high outputs without active cooling (driving lights get it for free), so within 10mins at RT its output is ~90%, at 20mins ~70%, it slowly drops and holds until cells are near empty than drops to 10%. Utter rubbish :(
Headlamps too, acebeam h30 is advertised as 4000lumens, yet can only do 1000ish sustained in most temps.

LUMENS:
Before lumens there was candlepower, and the two prevailing themes were a-people thought somehow it was the only thing you needed to judge a light...b- the numbers went from exaggeration to fabrication. Once people caught on that the numbers were meaningless they turned to lumens. Sadly history repeats.
Lumens means how much lux (light) falls on a surface and is useful with flood beam outputs and less useful with concentrated beams. But still lumens means little to the average joe. When looking for a quality headtorch for cooking and hiking as an example you want to pay more atn to the coverage in degrees, lux gradient, color temp etc. So trust me most head torches are garbage used for cooking but most are unaware.
An isotropic light source emitting 1candela at 1meter radius will produce 12.56lumens, basic childs math from a sphere. However lights have reflectors and only way to measure lumens is by a polysterene box with diffused filters and a lux meter against a know source. Beware of posers using the term luminous flux to make themselves seem smarter than they are :(

COLOUR TEMP and RENDERING
One major short coming of leds is most are cool white and many find them to be chite straight up. They use them coz it is easier to source are can boast larger lumen numbers to the muggles.
Leds use phosphorous layer to convert the near uv light to something we can see, lower color temps mean more layers and losses. we see "best" with ~4200kelvins given that has the most yellows and greens. But 6000k has less of it and looks bad. Same story for 3000k and below, however 2500-3000k does give a mellow relaxing feel which I like and have converted much of my stuff to 3000k.
Most leds are plagued by tiny shifts, unwanted colours like yellows, greens etc
CREE is chite, there high cri stuff is barely any better than their low, yes they make powerful stuff, but quality ain't really it.
To give good color rendering you need to produce more of the reds and cyans etc, which means more added high heat and that is what high cri does and they have noticeably less lumens but much better quality of light. To me once you get over 4000k the hi cri starts to look less noticable.

CANDELA
This is how far the light "throws" and is measured in the brightest part of the beam. The fl1 std is 0.25lux which is pathetic. My klarus xt32 throws 0.25lux at 1km in its center beam but just 500meters using 1lux, as a general rule for lights that throw very far you actually need to increase the lumens massively to see anything with naked eye. Math
Candela (isotropic) = lumens ÷ (4xpixr2)
Throw= sqroot (candela over lux)
Klarus example= 250,000cd, at any given distance (not too close to light) lux can be calcd.
For my standards of 10lux it only throws 158M. Big numbers attract the masses.
Candela=candelpower lol.

BATTERY
The days of aa, alkaline, c, d sizes, nimh etc are over, they are so poor in runtime. The gold standard has been li-ion 18650 for many years, but now the new kid on the block is 21770, 25-30% more energy with only ~10% more added thickness to the housings.
Always buy a light that has acess to the cells or you will be in a chite down the line. Never waste your time on canned batteries. Always always buy quality brand cells, the big 4 are panasonic/sanyo, samsung, sony, and LG. Always buy the cells from flashlight stores for protected and vaping sources for unprotected. Vaping is serious business and they dont tolerate cheap nasty stuff that could lead to a fire, there are so many fakes out of places like China so dont waste your time. Li-ion comes in two types,
High capacity and High power.
High capacity 18650 starts at around 3000mah and they age fast under abuse.
They are usually 3300mah max in real world, any higher is just datasheet bs. Olight advertise 3600 for a 3300cell lol.
Sony vtc4,5, and 6 are high power and these cells are used for cold temps and are ideal when running low modes continuous (cells not heating=high IR) Li-ion can be used reliably down to about negative 15C, any lower and time to break out the cr123a primary's.

CHEAP vs. QUALITY
as a general rule the cheap stuff is getting better but is limited to low outputs and crap batteries. They are for people who barely use lights and have no ability to see the difference. Guys cant tell the diff between hd600s and dr dra beats....yet others can spot it a mile away. As they say it takes alot of extra effort to get a noticable increase. Quality brands use quality electronics, high ip ratings etc.
Cheap stuff is usually direct drive basic conponents.

I could go on and on but I think I touched on the basics. As mentioned head torches are now serious business and I use them more than a handheld. Just about anything out there works well, there are dozens of top tier brands all out of china of course making so many lights it's getting ridiculous. Overtime they all get better. I choose the klarus xt32 as its imo the best all round light to do it all and coupled with the acebeam h30 it's a wicked combo. Now if I want I could break out the ff5 for those times to scare the pants off of guys dumping rubbish. :)
 
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